SALIMA--As the Malawi government prepares for the 2012/2013 Farm Input Subsidy Program, Traditional Authority Kalonga of Salima has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to ensure that it makes an effective and efficient distribution plan for the input to reach the target beneficiaries.
Speaking at Kachere Irrigation Scheme in Salima during the launch of Irrigation and Manure production for Salima Agriculture Development Division (SADD), the Chief said poor distribution of FISP inputs has left many would be beneficiaries stranded.
“The farm input program is good, but many people who are given the coupons fail to access fertilizer and seeds as they don’t reach rural markets. My plea therefore is that this season you should make sure that you manage your logistics well so that the inputs reach targeted people,” the chief said.
He added: “If you go round in villages you will find many people with unused FISP coupons from the previous seasons.”
Reacting to the call, Deputy Minister of and Food Security Ulemu Chilapondwa said government is aware that logistical hiccups are a big challenge to the program.
“As a Deputy Minister and as Member of Parliament I am aware of this problem and as government we are working towards reducing the logistical problems the program has faced in the past seasons,” said Chilapondwa.
“We are aware that fuel problems was the main cause of the mess in the distribution of FISP last season and we are hopeful that with the steady fuel supply that would not be an issue this time around,” said the Deputy Minister.
He then appealed to all stake holders at all levels to make sure that they coordinate well and ensure that the inputs reach all corners of the country.
Turning to the main function Chilapondwa said that government will continue to encourage people to go into irrigation farming as an alternative to rain fed agriculture.
“In these days when climate change is bringing more changes in the rainfall pattern, it is important that we move and adopt other methods of agriculture such as irrigation and use of manure,” he said.
The Deputy Minister then announced that as a way of boosting irrigation farming government has made available about 105 tonnes of UREA fertiliser for irrigation farmers in Salima which will be bought at K500 per 50kg bag.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.